Presented by: The National Trust and Every Cloud Productions
Reviewed: 30 December 2015
For three series on the ABC, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries has become hugely popular. Maybe it’s the charms of its lead actress Essie Davis or the elegant 1920’s settings. Perhaps it’s the Melbourne locations or simply that viewers just like watching a well-made whodunit. Whatever the case, the series has gained a cult following like no other recently made local production. Everyone from the cast and crew has striven for high standards with their determination to craft a quality product easily seen.
One of its eye-catching elements of the recent third series was the amazing costumes designed by a talented ensemble including Marion Boyce. With a keen feel for the period, the 1920’s outfits have aided in conjuring the show’s overall appeal. Stylish, opulent and a feast for the eyes, the costumes have been excellently crafted. Intermingled with props and furniture from the period, Ayres House has been holding an exhibit of these wondrous creations since November. Within the confines of its stately walls, the exhibition comes alive as each new costume is seen.
Utilising all floors of Ayres House, the exhibition is logically crafted and shows off the costumes with skill. Close examination of the dazzling garments show the intricate care and craftsmanship gone into their development. Not only do they all look excellent, they also achieve a practical side in regard to how they are lit and photographed. Each thread is well thought out with their environments kept in mind. All successfully achieve the ability to transport the viewer into another more stylish era.
This mood is further enhanced by the various jewellery and props. They prove how each serve to effectively put together the pieces of the 1920’s puzzle just as Miss Fisher uses clues to solve crimes. It isn’t just focussed on her character but also the supporting cast who have their own moment to shine. It’s often amazing how fashion dictated their authority and class structure. These elements convey information without words, with the clothes and surrounds seen just as important as what’s said.
For budding detectives, a ‘private detective notebook’ is available for those seeing the exhibition. Each exhibit features a hologram of Inspector Jack offering cryptic clues to a mystery to solve. This adds to the fun of the exhibition which is perfect for a nice wander through on a hot Summer’s day. There is also a room available for those wanting to dress up in 1920’s finery and enjoy a slice of Miss Fisher’s sparkling world.
The Miss Fisher’s Costume Exhibition is an enjoyable stroll through another era and a fine TV series. Some of the outfits displayed are truly amazing with the fabric of time never diminishing the high standards achieved in conjuring the finest of a very elegant era.
Rating out of 5: 5
Reviewed by: Patrick Moore
Venue: Ayers House Museum
Season: 16 November 2015 – 14 February 2016
Opening Hours: Daily from 10am – 5pm.
Tickets: Adult – $20.00, Concession – $18.00, Child (5 – 15) – $10.00, Family – $50.00
Bookings: Book online through the exhibition website –www.missfisherexhibition.com.au or purchase tickets at the door. Call (08) 8223 1234 for enquiries.